Not all of us are lucky enough to have the ability to stable our horses at home, tweak their management and living quarters to ours, or their needs. Sharing stabling, barn space and boarding facilities are how many of us keep our animals. Its certainly not without its challenges for our horses who may have specific needs.
You may have everything you need in place to manage your horse, however, but here are a few pointers on some things that may need to be considered which may not have crossed your mind before.Environmental Management:
- Keep hay storage as far away from your horse as possible.
- If this means you need to move stables to be in the airiest and well ventilated area – do it!
- If there are horses who are bedded on straw or dusty bedding nearby your stable – perhaps try to move horses stabled on straw together – and keep your neighbours on low dust/dust extracted bedding also
- Don’t sweep the aisles of the barn whilst horses are in their stables! This raised dust is an irritant for some and horses should be out of the barn whilst sweeping out!
- Some horses may not have their hay steamed or soaked and as such just shake out and loosen the hay before feeding. This should never be done in the aisles – always shake hay out, but never in the stable aisle! Try to do this outside the stable block entirely, ensuring that the spores and dust contaminates – do not contaminate your stable area.
- Don’t ride when your arena surface is exceptionally dry….unless you have a watering system in place to keep dust down. A damp arena surface is far more respiratory friendly than a dry dusty surface, from which particles will rise and potentially irritate airways.
So to summarise, there are more factors to your horses management than just managing their forage and their bedding…… the entire airspace/ barn needs to be considered.